Nigeria’s Barkindo to ascend OPEC Secretary-General’s seat

By Odunewu Segun

The organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries may pick a former Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Mohammed Barkindo as the next Secretary-General of the cartel comes July 26th when the tenure of acting Sec-Gen, Abdalla Salem el-Badri expires.

OPEC has been looking for a replacement for Libya’s Abdullah al-Badri, who was elected acting Secretary-General in December until the end of July after serving full terms.

OPEC oil ministers are expected to meet on Thursday in Vienna. The consensus of all members – which in the past has sometimes been elusive – is required for the appointment of a new secretary-general.

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Barkindo, whose nomination by the Federal Government was announced yestarday had once served as Acting Secretary-General of OPEC in 2006, and was GMD of the NNPC from 2009 to 2010. “We are putting Barkindo forward for the job of OPEC Secretary-General because he has the required qualification and experience,” a source said.

National Daily gathered Badri has been OPEC’s Secretary-General for over nine years and was supposed to leave at the end of 2012, but his tenure was extended due to the fact that member’s countries of OPEC could not reach a consensus on his replacement.

The agreement, it was gathered was over whether somebody from Iraq, Saudi Arabia or Iran should be elected to head the organization. However, some OPEC delegates had previously put forward Nigerian or Angola as likely to produce the candidate because of their neutrality in the group’s geopolitical disagreements.